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Tea Party Express rolls through Los Angeles

National tour protesting government spending and healthcare reform draws more than 500 at Griffith Park.

October 26, 2009|Nicole Santa Cruz

More than 500 people gathered in Griffith Park on Sunday to demand less government spending and voice their opposition to any government-run healthcare plan.

The rally was the latest stop on a national tour -- dubbed the Tea Party Express II -- that began Sunday morning in San Diego and plans to visit 38 cities in 19 days.

Organizers are calling the tour a "Countdown to Judgment Day" for elected officials, timing it to one year before the 2010 congressional elections.

Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express II, said that his group is calling on politicians to "clean up their act" and stop voting for deficit-increasing measures.

Lisa Markell of Long Beach and Bruce Berger of Cypress wore long brown hooded robes to the rally Sunday, to protest government spending and taxation. "This is a grave concern," said Markell, 46, clutching a 6-foot scythe with a tombstone-shaped sign.

Earlier this year, tea party protests were timed with April 15, the filing deadline for state and federal taxes. The current tour is scheduled to end Nov. 12 in Orlando, Fla.

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nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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